SCOTT BROWN has led by example to guide Celtic to success on the field.
And former Hoops captain Tom Boyd reckons the current skipper could one day make the transition into management and forge a career on the other side of the white line.
While his team-mates have enjoyed a much-needed break this summer, Brown has been putting in the hours at Largs after beginning his Uefa B Licence course.
He joked that his Parkhead peers would call him 'Little Jose' from now on in reference to his more studious approach to the beautiful game.
At 29, the midfielder still has plenty of time to make his mark on the pitch.
But Boyd wouldn't be surprised to see Brown swap his armband for a tracksuit in years to come.
"I think he certainly can go on and become a manager," he told SportTimes.
"Earlier in his career he was maybe a bit loose, if you like, but he has matured and the level of his performances have been excellent.
"He was the driving force for Celtic last season and when times were hard and the team was struggling, he was the one that drove them on.
"I can see him going down the management road in the future. He is still relatively young, but he has got a wise head on his shoulders now and he has developed into the role of being Celtic captain.
"He has started doing his coaching badges and the earlier you do that the better, it gives you a better understanding of the game.
"It can only help you as a player just now and obviously later in your career if you do decide to go into management when you retire."
Brown may have started planning for the future by hitting the books at Largs, but the Scotland star still has several years at the top level ahead of him on the park.
In the modern era, only Billy McNeil and Danny McGrain have captained Celtic to more league titles than Brown, the legendary duo doing so on nine and four occasions respectively.
He claimed his third title win as skipper last season, taking him level on successes with Boyd.
And the former Celtic star is confident there is plenty more to come from the main man at Parkhead.
Boyd said: "It is something you can't take away from players, their place in the history books and the medals they have won in their career.
"It would be great for Scott to look back in a few years and see where he ranks amongst the all-time Celtic greats and say he led the club to so many league titles.
"If we continue in the manner we are just now, hopefully there are a few more to come.
"Scott will be a mainstay in that. He is developing into what a captain should be and is someone who could be there for a long time yet."
With seven honours to his credit already, Brown is the most decorated player in the Hoops squad as thoughts turn to more success next season.
Having marshalled the champions with aplomb under Neil Lennon, it is now Ronny Deila who will look for his skipper to inspire in the coming weeks and months.
The former Hibernian star has grown into his position of responsibility at Parkhead and Boyd reckons he is the ideal man to help the club through a period of change.
He said: "Scott will be vital in his role as captain for the squad and the new manager.
"Scott is thoroughly enjoying his role as captain and the responsibility that comes with it. As time has gone on, he has become more accustomed to the demands of being Celtic captain.
"He is someone who will be crucial in making the transition this summer as smooth as possible. He is the leader of the team, he is thriving on having that on his shoulders.
"It is crucial, as captain, that Scott plays his part as the manager looks to get his thoughts across to the squad."
In the days after his appointment as Lennon's successor as Hoops boss, the Norwegian phoned Brown to introduce himself and inform the captain of the men who would stand beside him in the dugout as John Collins was named as assistant manager and John Kennedy promoted from the youth department.
Celtic will play the first fixture of an action-packed Austrian tour against FK Krasnodar on Thursday and Boyd knows the preparations need to be spot on as the Champions League clash with KR Reykjavic looms large.
He said: "The next couple of weeks are so important.
"I don't think there will be too many changes being made to the squad and the playing style at the moment.
"The quality is there to play the type of game Ronny wants to play. He doesn't need to make major changes and we know that getting through these qualifiers is a must.
"The big negative for Celtic is the lack of time he will have with the players and they will be facing teams who are midway through their season.
"No matter what level you are playing at, that does have a massive influence. That is a concern for Celtic.
"But the team should be good enough to get through the first tie at least."